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Title:
EQUIPMENT FOR COMMERCIAL VEHICLES
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/199169
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The equipment for commercial vehicles comprises a coverage structure (11) predisposed to be mounted on a rear floor (2) of a vehicle defining an internal load compartment (12) and provided with at least one lateral opening (13) for the access inside said load internal compartment (12). The lateral opening (13) of the coverage structure (11) has a closure element (16) hinged substantially at its top, according to an axis longitudinal to the rear floor (2) of the vehicle. Operating means (20) associated with the coverage structure (11) are predisposed to operate in angular rotation said closure element (16) between a closure position of the lateral opening (13) and an open position tilted outwards for the access to the coverage structure (11).

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Inventors:
CAMELLINI GIANCARLO (IT)
Application Number:
PCT/IB2017/052879
Publication Date:
November 23, 2017
Filing Date:
May 16, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
GEMA S R L (IT)
International Classes:
B60J5/04
Foreign References:
JPH0391215U1991-09-18
US4341413A1982-07-27
US4024671A1977-05-24
US20060237992A12006-10-26
EP0958994A21999-11-24
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MANZELLA & ASSOCIATI (Bologna, IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1 . Equipment for commercial vehicles comprising a coverage structure (1 1 ) predisposed to be mounted on a rear floor (2) of a vehicle, shaping an internal load compartment (12) and provided with at least one lateral opening (13) for the access inside said internal load compartment (12), a closure element (16) of an upper part of said lateral opening (13) of said coverage structure (1 1 ), hinged substantially at the top of said lateral opening (13) according to an axis longitudinal to said rear floor (2) of said vehicle; operating means (20) associated with said coverage structure (1 1 ) and predisposed to operate in angular rotation said closure element (16) between a closure position of said lateral opening (13) and an opening position, raised toward the outside, for the access inside said internal load compartment (12) of said coverage structure (1 1 ); a wall (21 ) mobile between a raised closure position of a bottom side of said lateral opening (13) and a lowered position substantially close to said roar floor (2) of said vehicle for the access inside said internal load compartment (12) characterized in that said mobile wall (21 ) can be operated through a translation device (22) comprising a pantograph mechanism constituted by a plurality of coplanar rods, joined by hinges so as to shape an articulated polygon.

2. Equipment according to claim 1 , characterized in that said mobile wall (21 ) can be operated, in independent manner with respect to said closure element (16), through said translation device (22) on command of further operating means (23).

3. Equipment according to claim 2, characterized in that said pantograph mechanism comprises a median vertical rod (221 ) which is fixed to the inner face of said mobile wall (21 ) and extremity rods (222, 223) which are respectively linked to a fixed point (224) on said coverage structure (1 1 ) and to said further operating means (23).

4. Equipment according to claim 1 , characterized in that said mobile wall (21 ) is operable, in synchronism with said closure element (16), through said translation device (22) connected by drawing means (26) to the same closure element (16), in such a way that the angular rotation of said closure element (16) to said opening position causes the translation of the mobile wall (21 ) to said lowered position substantially close to said rear floor (2) of said vehicle.

5. Equipment according to any one of the previous claims, characterized in that said top closure element (16) comprises a plurality of profiles (17) substantially extending longitudinally, predisposed to be reciprocally secured at a respective shaped longitudinal edge (174), so as to shape a continuous surface turned, in use, toward the outside of said coverage structure (1 1 ).

6. Equipment according to claim 5, characterized in that said profiles (17) substantially extending longitudinally, in the mounted configuration, define an arcuate surface.

7. Equipment according to any one of the previous claims, characterized in that said operating means (20, 23) comprise at least one gas spring.

8. Equipment according to any one of the previous claims, characterized in that in said opening position, raised toward the outside, said closure element (16) is rotated substantially of 90° relative to said closure position.

Description:
Description

EQUIPMENT FOR COMMERCIAL VEHICLES

Technical Field

The present invention concerns an equipment for commercial vehicles and the like.

Background Art

It has been known the use of commercial vehicles equipped for specific activities. Such commercial vehicles enable the user to work out of his place of work, moving where their intervention is needed.

A specific type of the cited equipped commercial vehicles provides to mount on the rear floor of the vehicle a curtainsider coverage structure predisposed to define a compartment for the provided equipment. Such coverage structure is generally provided with two large lateral openings that allow accessing the inside of the coverage structure for loading and unloading the working tools. Often, such lateral openings extend substantially for a large part of the sides of the coverage structure. A smaller opening is provided sometimes also on the rear wall of the coverage structure.

According to a known technique, the cited lateral openings of the coverage structure are closed through a roller shutter, that can be handled through a handle extended along the lower side of the roller shutter. This closure mode has many disadvantages for users, which may affect the proper functionality of the equipment. In fact, roller shutters are often difficult to handle and are subject to jams that can also cause the block of the sliding movement and therefore hinder the correct access to the internal load compartment of the coverage structure.

This disadvantage is particularly evident in case of use of the vehicle on unpaved roads or anyway with imperfect surface. In this case, the stresses affecting the vehicle, passing to the coverage structure, can more easily determine a fault of the rolling shutters.

Another problem complained in the considered field is that the winding roller of the roller shutters is considerably bulky, such as to limit the accessibility to the load compartment and the use of the space inside the coverage structure.

Alternative solutions for the closure of the aforementioned lateral openings of the vehicle coverage structure have been devised.

US 4024671 discloses, for example, a coverage structure having at least one lateral opening comprising a first closure element of an upper lateral opening, hinged to the top of the same structure. A second closure element of a lower part of the lateral opening is hinged to one end of the structure opposite to the top. The closure elements are synchronously operated in angular rotation about the respective axes of the hinged joints by means of actuators which provide a first supported pulley which can be rotated by a support member of the type of a pole, placed below the rotation axis of the hinged joint of the first closure element. A second pulley is interposed among the hinged joints of the closure elements supported by the same support member. Below the first pulley a lever is mounted which is hinged at a proximal end to a pin fixed to said support member and has the distal end extending towards the first closure element. At the distal end of the lever, a wire is fixed that winds about the first and second pulley and is associated with the inner surface of the second closure element by fastening means.

However, this solution has a handling mechanism of the locking elements not particularly robust as it needs frequent maintenance due mainly to the use of a linkage wire of the pulleys with the lever member which may be subject to wear and tear or to possible damages due to stresses acting on the vehicle.

US 4341413, instead, describes a first closure element of an upper part of a lateral opening of a vehicle comprising a first portion extending over a loading compartment and a second portion integral with the first portion, extending in a direction orthogonal to the first portion. The first portion is associated with a pair of arms bearing respective wheels that slide in a guide obtained at the roof of the vehicle. The second portion is hinged to an actuation member which is connected to a rotation shaft so as to operate the first closure element between a closure position and an opening position in which the roof of the vehicle is placed above. A corresponding first toothed wheel is mounted on the rotating shaft. The second closure element of a lower part of the lateral opening is connected to a further rotation shaft by means of a pair of articulated arms. A second toothed wheel is mounted on the shaft and connected with the first toothed wheel by transmission means. JPH0391215 discloses a vehicle coverage structure comprising a pair of closure elements, respectively, of a top and bottom side of a lateral opening operated by respective lever systems joined by hinges.

The described handling systems show greater resistance over time but are nevertheless quite complex and not easy to manufacture.

Despite the fact that different solutions have been devised to close the openings of the coverage structures, there remains the need to further simplify the handling of the closure elements while maintaining an acceptable durability.

Disclosure

The task of the present invention is to solve the aforementioned problems, devising an equipment for commercial vehicles that allows to easily access the load compartment. Within such task, it is a further scope of the present invention to provide an equipment for commercial vehicles allowing an optimal exploitation of the load compartment.

Another scope of the invention is to provide an apparatus for commercial vehicles easy to mount. Another scope of the invention is to provide an equipment for commercial vehicles of simple constructive and functional conception, of versatile use, provided with surely reliable functioning as well as relatively economic cost.

The cited scopes are reached, according to the present invention, by the equipment for commercial vehicles according to claim 1 .

According to the present invention, the equipment for commercial vehicles comprises a curtainsider coverage structure suitable to be associated with a rear floor of the vehicle and provided with at least one lateral opening for the access inside an internal load compartment, having a top closure element substantially hinged at the top of said lateral opening, according to an axis longitudinal to the vehicle, said top closure element being predisposed to be operated in rotation by operating means associated with said coverage structure between a closure position of an upper part of said lateral opening and an outwardly raised opening position for the access inside said coverage structure.

According to another aspect of the present invention, the equipment comprises a wall mobile between a raised closure position of a lower part of said lateral opening and a lowered position substantially close to said rear floor of the vehicle for the access inside said internal load compartment.

Advantageously, said curtainsider coverage structure is provided with a lateral opening at both the sides of the same coverage structure.

Advantageously, said lateral opening extends substantially for the whole width of the respective side of said coverage structure.

Advantageously, said top closure element creates, at the raised opening position, a sort of roof above the lateral opening, so as to prevent water entering the load compartment when using the vehicle on rainy days and the like.

Preferably, said top closure element comprises a plurality of substantially longitudinal profiles, predisposed to be secured one another at a respective shaped longitudinal edge, so as to define a continuous surface turned in use towards the outside of said coverage structure.

Advantageously, the substantially longitudinal profiles, in the assembled configuration, define an arcuate surface. It is to be noted that, by simply fixing the profiles at the respective shaped portions, it is possible to obtain an area with a predetermined curvature automatically, without special manufacturing operations.

Preferably, said longitudinal profiles are made of aluminium extrusions.

Preferably, the profiles have along the longitudinal edges respective shaped portions predisposed for reciprocal coupling. [28] Preferably, an upper profile is predisposed to engage, at the upper longitudinal edge, a hinged member associated with a further profile fixed to the coverage structure, at the upper edge of the lateral opening.

[29] It should be noted that the profiles secured at respective longitudinal shaped edges give the top closure element greater strength and at the same time simplify the assembly of the closure element because they do not require welding operations.

[30] The mobile wall can be operated by a translation device.

[31 ] Preferably, said mobile wall is operable independently from said closure element, by said translation device controlled by additional operating means.

[32] Alternatively, said mobile wall can be operated, in synchronism with said top closure element, by a translation device connected, through pulling means, with the same top closure element, so that the angular rotation of said top closure element to said opening position determines the movement of the mobile wall in said lowered position, substantially close to said rear floor of the vehicle.

[33] Said translation device comprises a pantograph mechanism consisting of a plurality of coplanar rods, joined by hinges to shape an articulated polygon.

[34] Preferably, said pantograph mechanism comprises a vertical median rod which is integral with the inner face of said mobile wall and extremity rods which are respectively secured to a fixed point on said coverage structure and to said additional operating means.

[35] Preferably, said extremity rods comprise a first extremity rod and a second extremity rod.

[36] Preferably, said first extremity rod is fixed at one end to said fixed point and, at the other end, to a first end of said vertical rod.

[37] Preferably, said second extremity rod is fixed at one end to said additional operating means and at the opposite end to a second end of said vertical rod, opposite to said first end of said vertical rod.

[38] Advantageously, said first extremity rod has a substantially square shape. This configuration is particularly advantageous as, in the intermediate positions taken by said mobile wall during the transition from the raised position to the lowered position, it minimizes the protrusion of said mobile wall with respect to said rear floor of said vehicle, thus optimizing the overall dimensions.

[39] Preferably, said operating means comprise at least one gas spring.

[40] Preferably, said operating means comprise a pair of gas springs arranged at the opposite longitudinal edges of said top closure element.

[41 ] Preferably, in said opening position, raised toward the outside, said upper closure element is rotated substantially of 90° relative to said closure position.

Description of Drawings Details of the invention shall be more apparent from the detailed description of a preferred embodiment of the equipment for commercial vehicles according to the invention, illustrated for indicative purposes in the attached drawings, wherein:

Figure 1 shows a perspective view of a commercial vehicle provided with the equipment according to the invention;

Figure 2 shows a perspective view of such equipment in a different use embodiment; Figures 3 and 4 respectively show a transverse vertical cross-sectional view of a side portion of said equipment, in different use configurations;

Figures 5, 6, 7 and 8 respectively show a transverse cross-sectional view of metal profiles being parts of said side portion of the equipment;

Figures 9 and 10 show a transverse vertical cross-sectional view of a different embodiment of said side portion of the equipment in different use configurations.

Best Mode

With particular reference to such Figures, a commercial vehicle provided with an equipment 10 according to the invention has been indicated in its entirely with 1 . The equipment 10 is mounted on a rear floor 2 of the vehicle. In the illustrated case the vehicle 1 is of the type commonly known as pick-up. However, it is obviously possible to use the equipment according to the invention on different kinds of vehicles.

The equipment 10 comprises a courtainsider coverage structure 1 1 predisposed to be fixed to the rear floor 2 of the vehicle. The courtainsider coverage structure 1 1 defines an internal load compartment 12 accessible through lateral openings 13. In particular, the coverage structure 1 1 comprises lateral sidewall that substantially coincide with the above-mentioned lateral openings 13, as it is better specified in the following; a substantially horizontal upper wall 14 and a substantially vertical rear wall 15. The sidewall of the coverage structure 1 1 have in the upper part a shape curved towards the inside of the same coverage structure 1 1 .

According to the present invention, each lateral opening 13 of the coverage structure 1 1 is closed at the upper part through a closure element 16 hinged substantially at the top of said lateral opening 13, according to an axis longitudinal to the rear floor 2 of the vehicle. Such top closure element is substantially constituted by a tailgate 16.

According to a preferred embodiment, the tailgate 16 is made of a plurality of profiles 17 extending longitudinally, predisposed to be reciprocally constrained at a respective longitudinal edge so as to define a continuous surface turned in use towards the outside of the coverage structure 1 1 . In particular, the profiles 17 are made up of metal extruded material, preferably extruded aluminium profiles. However, it is possible to make the profiled 12 with different materials, for example non-metal materials such as extruded resins and the like. The substantially longitudinally extended profiles in the assembled configuration define an arcuate surface.

In the illustrated case, the tailgate 16 is constituted by three metal profiles 17, respectively an upper profile 171 , a median profile 172 and a lower profile 173 (see Figures 5, 6 and 7); obviously it is possible to provide that the tailgate is realized through a different number of metal profiles.

More in detail, the metal profiles 17 have, along the longitudinal edges, respective shaped portions 174 predisposed to mutually couple. The upper metal profile 171 is further predisposed to hinge, at the upper longitudinal edge, with a hinging member 18 associated with a further metal profile 19 fixed to the coverage structure 1 1 at the upper edge of the lateral opening 13 (see in particular Figure 8).

The tailgate 16 is predisposed to be operated in rotation between a closure position of the lateral opening 13 and an opening position rotated outwardly, for the access inside the coverage structure 1 1 , through operating means 20 associated with the same coverage structure 1 1 . Preferably, such operating means are constituted by a pair of gas springs 20 arranged at the opposite longitudinal ends of the tailgate 16. In particular, the cylinder of the gas springs 20 is hinged to the upper metal profile 17 of the tailgate 16; while the stem sliding in the same cylinder is hinged to a corresponding wall of the coverage structure 1 1 (see Figures 3 and 4).

Each lateral opening 13 is further closed at the lower part through a wall 21 mobile between a raised closure position of the lateral opening 13 and a lowered position substantially close to the floor 2 of the vehicle for the access inside the coverage structure 1 1 .

The lower mobile wall 21 can be operated through a translation device 22.

Preferably, the lower mobile wall 21 can be operated, in independent manner from the top tailgate 16, by the above-mentioned translation device 22, commanded by additional operating means 23 associated with the coverage structure 1 1 .

The translation device 22 provides, at the opposite longitudinal edges of the mobile wall 21 , a pantograph mechanism consisting of a plurality of coplanar rods, joined through hinges to shape an articulate polygon. Such pantograph mechanism has a vertical median rod 221 integral with the inner face of the mobile wall 21 and extremity rods 222, 223 that are respectively secured to a fixed point 224 and to the above-mentioned additional operating means 23.

Preferably, the extremity rods comprise a first extremity rod 222 and a second extremity rod 223.

In particular, the first extremity rod 222 is constrained, at one end, to the fixed point 24 and, at the other extremity to a first extremity of the vertical rod 221 . Preferably, the first extremity rod 222 has a substantially squared shape. Such shape is particularly advantageous as, in the intermediate positions taken by the mobile wall 21 during the passage from the raised position to the lowered position, it permits to minimize the protrusion of the above-mentioned mobile wall 21 with respect to the rear floor 2, thus optimizing the required space.

The second extremity rod 223 is constrained, at one end, to the additional operating means 23 and, at the opposite extremity, to the second extremity of the vertical rod 221 . Preferably, such additional operating means are constituted by a further pair of gas springs 20 arranged at the opposite longitudinal extremities of the mobile wall 21 .

The functioning of the equipment for commercial vehicles is easy to understand from the preceding description.

Under running conditions of the vehicle, the lateral openings 13 of the coverage structures 1 1 are closed through the top tailgate 16 and the lower mobile wall 21 (see Figures 1 and 3). It is to be observed that the top tailgate 16 and the lower mobile wall 21 can be closed from the side turned towards the inside of the coverage structure 1 1 through suitable sheets 24, 25. An interspace is thus created which can be suitably insulated with a suitable insulating material.

In use conditions, when the vehicle is stationary, it is commanded to open the top tailgate 16 and the lower movable wall 21 by operating the respective gas springs 20, 23 to allow access inside the loading compartment 12 of the coverage structure. The top tailgate 16 rotates to an open position raised toward the outside; while the lower mobile wall 21 , thanks to the pantograph translation device 22, moves in a lowered position vertically approached to the floor 2 of the vehicle (see Figures 2 and 4).

In a different embodiment, illustrated in Figures 9 and 10, the top tailgate 16 and the lower movable wall 21 can be synchronously operated by the sole gas spring 20 associated with the tailgate 16. The synchronous movement of the mobile wall 21 is in fact obtained through drawing members 26 articulated to the top tailgate 16, so that the rotation of the latter in the opening position also determines the cited translation of the mobile wall 21 in the lowered position close to the floor 2 of the vehicle.

The equipment for commercial vehicles according to the invention therefore achieves the purpose of allowing in a simple and quick way the access inside the load compartment of the vehicle. The automatic opening of the top tailgate 16 and of the lower mobile wall 21 allows an easy access inside the load compartment through the lateral openings 13.

In particular, the top tailgate 16 moves to a tilted position substantially at the level of the upper wall of the coverage structure 1 1 ; while the lower mobile wall 21 moves to a lowered position substantially at the floor 2 of the vehicle. Usefully, the lateral openings 13 of the coverage structure 1 1 extend for the entire width of the sidewalls of such coverage structure. In this way, in the opening position of the tailgate 16 and of the mobile wall 21 , the entire sidewall of the coverage structure 1 1 is accessible to the user.

It should be noted that, in the raised opening position, the top tailgate 16 occupies a limited space transversely to the vehicle; instead, the lower mobile wall 21 occupies substantially no additional space, sliding to a vertically lowered position close to the floor 2 of the vehicle.

A prerogative of the equipment according to the invention is that there are substantially no risks of malfunctioning complained in the use of roller shutters. The absence of mobile sliding parts prevents jams or the like, even when using the vehicle on unpaved roads or imperfect floor.

The absence of the winding roller of the shutter also allows full use of the space inside the coverage structure.

Another feature is the simplification of the handling of the mobile walls, which are handled respectively by a pantograph mechanism and by a hinged connection, which can be operated by respective gas springs. Thus, transmission means of the type of belts or tapes and pulleys are not required for the transmission of movement, nor complex lever systems.

Another advantage offered by the equipment for commercial vehicles according to the invention is that the top tailgate 16 provides, in the raised opening position, a sort of roof above the lateral opening 13. This prevents water entering the load compartment, when using the vehicle on rainy days and the like.

Another advantage still offered by the equipment for commercial vehicles according to the invention is that the top tailgate 16 and the lower mobile wall 21 are easy to construct and easy to mount, in particular thanks to the fact that they are made up of extruded profiles cut to size.

Another advantageous aspect to be pointed out is that the profiles give the structure sturdiness as well as lightness and allow creating surfaces with a curved shape easily. By simply joining the profiles at the respective shaped portions, it is possible to obtain automatically, without special machining operations, a surface having a predetermined curvature

In practice, the used materials as well as the size and shape may vary according to the needs.

Should the technical characteristics mentioned in the claims be followed by reference signs, such reference signs were included for the sole purpose of increasing the understanding of the claims and thus they shall not be deemed limiting the scope of the element identified by such reference signs by way of example.